Testing Time at ExpoBy JOSH TROY / PRESS REGISTER,
Coahoma County reported two deaths related to coronavirus this week and testing squads were in town Tuesday to assess the level of infection in the community.
National Guard units, under the direction of the Mississippi State Department of Health and University of Mississippi Medical Center teamed up to test residents at the Expo Center Tuesday.
UMMC gave the tests at no charge and no insurance was needed.
According to the Mississippi State Department of Health website, as of Tuesday, there have now been 153 cases of COVID-19 and six deaths from it in Coahoma County.
Coahoma County has a census estimated population of 22,628 and at this point 0.67-percent of the community has or has had the disease over the past 92 days. The Center for Disease Control said the typical case of COVID-19 can last up to two weeks, with those suffering severe cases being ill up to three or four weeks.
“We look for areas with high transmission of cases and current availability of testing,” said Liz Sharlot, communications director for Mississippi State Department of Health.
The team that came to Coahoma County was scheduled to go to Vicksburg Thursday and Yazoo City Saturday. Other teams are scheduled to go to different areas throughout the state.
As many as 146 appointments were available to test in Clarksdale on Tuesday, but only 32 appointments were made.
Anyone interested in being tested was able to call UMMC telehealth at 601-496-7200 and answer a series of questions about whether or not they had COVID-19 symptoms.
Some of the questions were if the individual had a fever, respiratory illness, was coughing or had been in close contact with a COVID-19 case? Anyone who answered yes to any of those questions was eligible for testing and could make an appointment.
Everyone who was tested will be notified of the results with a phone call. Results are expected to come back two-to-three days later.
The UMMC advised everyone waiting for test results to stay at home and notify their employer of the situation. It said some employees may be able to work while wearing a mask until the results are available.
Treating the disease is similar to treating the flu with the sick told to get rest, stay hydrated and take medication to reduce any fever. The infected should also cover a cough or sneeze, wash hands with soap and water for more than 20 seconds and clean and disinfect objects and surfaces regularly, including the telephone.